2K01F82 Frankfurt, Germany. Credit: D. 7th Sep, 2022. Manuel Ugarte (SportingCP) Football/Soccer : UEFA Champions League Group D match between Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting Clube de Portugal at Deutsche Bank Park, in Frankfurt, Germany. Credit: D .Nakashima/AFLO/Alamy Live News

Manuel Ugarte release clause ‘set’ with Liverpool reportedly preparing bid

Liverpool are preparing to submit their first bid for Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte according to the latest reports.

The 22-year-old has been the subject of plenty of speculation in recent weeks as the Reds look to transform their midfield ahead of next season.

Report have indicated that Liverpool are lining up a proposal to sign the midfielder, with a release clause said to be around £52.2 million.

The Portuguese news outlet have reported that Liverpool will meet with Sporting representatives this week in order to submit an offer for the player.

2PNX87A Lisbon, Portugal. 20th Apr, 2023. Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP in action during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Finals, 2nd Leg football match between Sporting CP and Juventus FC at Estadio Jose Alvalade. Final score: Sporting CP 1:1 Juventus FC (Photo by Bruno de Carvalho/SOPA Images/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

Liverpool’s scouts were reported to have attended Sporting’s clash with Famalicao last month, adding fuel to the rumours that the Uruguayan was firmly on the club’s radar ahead of the upcoming transfer window.

Ugarte is said to be a “profitable asset” at Sporting and a sale could go a long way to helping the club to balance the books, with Liverpool looking well placed to capitalise.

He has typically operated as a defensive midfielder during his time in the Primeira Liga, an area which could require reinforcements given Fabinho‘s recent struggles for form and Stefan Bajcetic‘s long-term injury.

It comes as the Daily Mail‘s Dom King suggested that the Reds are “not expected” to push ahead with a move for another deep-lying midfielder in Nice’s Khephren Thuram.

2PNWX9G Nice, France. 20th Apr, 2023. Khephren Thuram of Nice during the UEFA Europa Conference League, Quarter-finals, 2nd leg football match between OGC Nice (OGCN) and FC Basel 1893 on April 20, 2023 at Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France - Photo Jean Catuffe/DPPI Credit: DPPI Media/Alamy Live News

Ugarte is joined on an extensive list of reported midfield targets by the likes of Mason Mount, Ryan Gravenberch, Alexis Mac Allister and Matheus Nunes, but is a much more defensive-minded player than the majority of the other players touted.

Links to the likes of Moises Caicedo and Joao Palhinha suggest that the club are seeking a signing for the No. 6 position to complement other purchases, but Ugarte looks to be the most likely if recent reports are to be believed.

While no agreements for any players are yet in place, it appears almost certain that multiple midfielders will arrive this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to transition to a new generation in that area of the pitch.

Ugarte has made 45 appearances in all competitions so far this season and his current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2026.